Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Jeannine Coreil, Ph.D.


Successful aging, Resilience, Life satisfaction, Depressive symptomatology, Retirement community


The proportion of adults aged 65 and older in the United States has been increasing steadily for years. Although most would agree that this increased longevity is a remarkable achievement, there is growing concern regarding the resources that will be necessary to provide care and services for this rapidly expanding segment of the population. From a public health perspective, simply increasing longevity is no longer the ultimate outcome sought. A more pertinent goal is increasing the quality of life years, or promoting resilience and successful aging. Strategies that assist adults in delaying the onset of disability or reducing the severity of disabling conditions may serve a vital role in the promotion of resilience and successful aging in older adults. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between religiosity and subjective well-being, commonly identified as a marker of resilience in older adults. In addition, the study sought to determine if that association is mediated by optimism. For this study, subjective well-being was operationalized with measures of depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction. Secondary analyses were conducted on longitudinal data collected for the Florida Retirement Study. Results indicated that religiosity was not significantly associated with future depressive symptomatology, but was significantly associated with future life satisfaction. Dispositional optimism did not mediate the relationships between religiosity and subjective well-being variables.